Western Harbour Tunnel project in NSW given the green light

Monica Gameng   |   January 25, 2021
Western Harbour crossing (cr: Transport for NSW)

A third road crossing of Sydney Harbour is closer to becoming a reality as the New South Wales Government grants planning approval to the development of the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade. 

This significant road infrastructure will help slash travel times by about 20 minutes from North Sydney to Sydney Olympic Park. 

“The Western Harbour Tunnel will take pressure off the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Anzac bridge and Western Distributor corridors to revolutionise transport capacity in and around our city. 

“This city-shaping piece of infrastructure will deliver a vital boost to the NSW economy, with the tunnel and freeway upgrade, along with Beaches Link, expected to support around 15,000 full time equivalent jobs,” Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said. 

proposed-reference-designWestern Harbour Tunnel & Beaches Link project map (source: Transport for NSW)

The project will involve the construction of a 6.5-kilometre tunnel with three lanes in each direction and it will be integrated with new and existing public transport connections. The tunnel will run from the new Rozelle Interchange, go under the Harbour and emerge on the Warringah Freeway. 

Once open to traffic, the project will transform the way people move across the harbour with the reduced traffic volume on some of the region’s busiest roads. 

“Planning approval means the NSW Government can get on with delivering the first stage, which is an upgrade to one of Sydney’s busiest and most complex road corridors, four kilometres of the Warringah Freeway. 

“Community feedback on the project has been valuable in helping understand and deliver positive changes to the design and plan, and we will continue to work closely with local communities as the project gets underway,” Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said. 

Upon its approval, the project has been given a set of conditions which includes investigation for the delivery of more footpaths and cycleways in the area as well as the requirement of replacing any trees removed at a ratio of two-to-one. 

A survey will be undertaken with local residents and businesses in early 2021. This will help the project team understand the impact of construction so they can properly mitigate it. 

Construction on the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade is due to commence in the first quarter of 2021 upon the completion of the procurement process and contract awards. 

In addition, the Environmental Impact Statement for the Beaches Link project is currently on public exhibition until 1 March 2021 and the community is encouraged to have their say. 

Source: Transport for NSW – Media ReleasesABC NewsThe Morning Sydney HeraldTransport for NSW – Roads & MaritimeNSW Government – Major ProjectsWestern Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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